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Shipping Container Scam seller/s on eBay

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I found this listing on eBay yesterday and thought it rang a bell.

eBay item listing #250588371343 posted by eBay seller blue_smartie68

Shipping Container Scams! Anyone been stung??

Sorry, this is not an auction for anything so please do not bid!!

This is simply a notification to advise and contact anyone who has been scammed by some ebay classified adverts selling cheap shipping containers lately out of Melbourne (but may not be limited to there??)

So far, two ebay seller IDs have been identified and are already delisted... but there may well be more. It appears the same conman is resposible and this could be just the tip of the iceberg.

The known IDs used so far are "freight.forward" and "vicremovals".

If you have been involved with either seller, or another similar scam... please visit the ebay community and register your concern on the "20 foot Shipping Container Scam" thread.

The Victorian Police are very interested in finding out how big this fraud is and we will have more chance of resolution if everyone comes forward who has been effected.




blue_smartie68 (1207)
20 foot shipping container scam! :(
19/02/2010 13:08
Hi guys,
Has anyone else been stung with a fraudulent seller who posted a classified listing for 20 foot shipping containers in Brunswick (Melb)?

I ordered one for myself and one for a neighbour (total price of $2700) and paid via a bank deposit to the business' account (no paypal link on classified listings!)
I even did a quick check on the "business" and found a professional looking website as well as a quick ABN search on the ASIC site seemed to confirm a legit business..

Anyway, speaking to the seller before he ceased communications, he told me that he had sold 20 containers in 2 days.... so I'm guessing there's a few ppl out there who are currently realising their container isn't going to turn up!! :(

The item has been made invalid now on the ebay system, and the seller deregistered... but I do have copies of the web pages, including the sellers business website which has now also been deactivited.
Although I normally use paypal, the classified listing said to contact the seller for dealing and consequently myself and my neighbour both forwarded $1350 each (including $100 freight on each container) to the seller's bank account.
He no longer answers his mobile (msg bank is full), the biz phone number on the invoice he emailed is disconnected... and just yesterday morning, the "company's" website has been disabled. His email now bounces and I have also checked the biz address on google maps and it appears to be a private house.

I have been to the local police yesterday and they are taking it seriously... moreso than ebay's trust & safety dept who simply sent a cut and paste reply :(:(:(

Just wondering if anyone else out there has been caught up in this fraud as well??

Rather upset,

dear.abby (Private)
(1 of 15)
19/02/2010 16:31
eBay have done all they will by deregistering the seller. They will cooperate with the police if asked.

If you havent already you should also report the incident through this link, even though its for Queensland it covers all states.

blackshootingstar (109)
(2 of 15)
26/02/2010 21:03
I have also been scammed exactly as you have, on the 18th of February, did all the searches and ringing around as well. Also upset John

blue_smartie68 (1207)
(3 of 15)
26/02/2010 22:10
Hi John,
Thanks for the post. The more of us involved, the more it motivates the cops to do something!!
I have given all the info I have to the local police here in Nagambie. What stage are you at?
I have given up with ebay, although am very tempted to call the media!! One of the current affairs shows would surely love a good scam story!!! ;)

I would suggest that you give James a call at Nagambie Police Station and let him know of your situation.... or alternatively, let your local boys know about us.

Here's hoping they can track this con man down!

Anyone else out there been stung?


blackshootingstar (109)
(4 of 15)
26/02/2010 23:32
I am going to the local police station tomorrow to let them know what has happened and give them the info I have, when ebay withdrew him off ebay, my info went with it. All I have is a dud receipt and a copy of bank transfer. Have rang bank to see what they could do and they could only tell me it was a Bank of Queensland account. I asked if they could chase up the account and let bank Know he is dodgy and they said that his bank would do nothing about it, so he will keep on getting away with it. Im sure we are not the only ones. Regards John

blackshootingstar (109)
(5 of 15)
27/02/2010 09:32
Update, I phoned address given on Receipt and they have had numerous phone calls about the shipping containers and 2 people turn up demanding there money back, regards John

blue_smartie68 (1207)
(6 of 15)
27/02/2010 11:07
Good work John!
I hope the others go to the police and report it!!
I did manage to save and print off the ebay listing page as well as all the pages of the bogus company website (, before it was delisted.
I also did a quick bsb check on his bank account and I came up with an ANZ account in Sydney (Parramatta)... so that's interesting!

bldj1926 (10)
(7 of 15)
27/02/2010 22:59
Sorry to hear of this, hope it sorts out well.
Could I suggest that the best way to purchase shipping containers is to phone Shipping Companies direct as they often have containers to sell that have been deemed no longer suitable for shipping. They will arrange for you to inspect in person at the container depot and are usually priced low as the Shipping Company owners (based overseas) look at them as a scrap item. How do i know this? I work in the industry...Another option is to approach a company such as 'Royal Wolfe' in Vic who also sell their own containers.

perrott2009 (15)
(8 of 15)
1/03/2010 14:53
I may have nearly been scammed also ... found Listed as a seller called vicremovals ... rang the number and got in contact with this guy called Mark (on 0410841737) who told me he could do 2 X 20' Containers Delivered for $3,000. He then sent a message to my phone with his email address ( Located a website under that still appears to be up and running, but both the phone number for Melbourne and Sydney on this are constantly engaged ... was just waiting for this guy to get back to me so I could forward the money to their account. Lucky I deciede to do another search on Ebay for Containers ... Thank you Chris, who Posted the Warning on there (I'm so thankfull to you as I could not have afforded to have lost that money)

blue_smartie68 (1207)
(9 of 15)
1/03/2010 15:12
Hi Perrot2009... I'm very pleased to have helped!! :D
That particular seller ID is the exact one that got John (above)... so you definitely would have been $3000 poorer and no containers!
It's a different name and number etc than the freight.forward ID that got me... but John and I compared all details we had are are convinced it's the same conman, just using different cover stories.
Can you please keep any details (emails etc) that you have, just in case the police need them.
I have also had contact from a legit container company, who claim there are around 92 people scammed to date and there are assisting the police in Qld with their investigations. seems there is a HUGE opening for scammers to operate through your classified listings section!!!
How about some assistance here, and some changes to the classified format??

Always in hope,

surelifttrans (232)
(10 of 15)
2/03/2010 21:18
well no,i never got biten,but...i was tempted....and when i said i could pick up myself the guy just seemed to keen to drop delivery from 150 to 100,saying it was only 80 kms to wollongong from silverwater(which it is not and for a big shot company would know better).....which is why i thought the deal was geting to good to be true.....would you run a truck and driver 600+ kms plus driver and diesel for $300????......seemed to sus to me.....i guess its the old story of to good to be true.....but was fairly convincing but.......

kelster1_holly (24)
(11 of 15)
2/03/2010 23:20
I thought about dealing with this guy, but did not could not get through on email or phone as well. Have bought off a company called Site Safe in Derrimut Melbourne and got to inspect the containers. I would watch out for 'too good to be true deals'.

Sorry you got stung.

kelster1_holly (24)
(12 of 15)
2/03/2010 23:25
See there classified add

putney32 (3165)
(13 of 15)
4/03/2010 22:47
HEY ... sorry to hear all this...

Although it is a link to Qld.police, they handle online fraud for the whole of Australia

if you ALL report thru the on line squad, they will have more info to work with...

sure your local cop shop will take a report...but please use the on line guys to get such practices STOPPED.

blue_smartie68 (1207)
(14 of 15)
5/03/2010 00:24
Thanks for everyone's input :)

The link to reporting online has a number of steps to it.... and step 3 says that I must report to my local police station in Victoria!!
One would think (and hope) that there is some internal communication within our police force so that they can collate all the different reports and take effective action. ?:|


sportandplay (189)
(15 of 16)
5/03/2010 23:37
Has this been going on for a while?


When you make a report to the Police you need to try and find out which Police station will be handling the investigation, probably wherever the seller is located.

Print out the form, complete it and make sure you attach copies of all eBay paperwork and all correspondence (emails, phone calls etc) that you have had with the seller. I would suggest you make an appointment to speak to someone at your local Police Station and take your form in or post all your info directly to the officer in charge of the investigation.

Don't give up!

We lost over $1000 in June 2008 to an eBay seller and the Police investigation is still ongoing.

i*nomad (30)
(16 of 16)
6/03/2010 12:39
hi we did buy 2 trough a classified add in Brisbane for $2500 about 6 month ago
unnecessarily to say that we did pay but never got a container or answer to our phone calls/messages :_|
we did go to the computer crime squad & police
they got 2 guys, the case will be in court in November with over 90 witnesses from around Australia but no chance that we will get money back as it is miraculously disappeared B-)
if you or anybody else who got done by this scumbags would like to get more info please feel free to get in contact with us
Cheers Frank ;)

I'd remembered this thread from last year, dated August 2009. Sounds like same scam but I'm not sure if it is the same seller. I have sent a message to the OP with a link to the new thread and they have now posted.

i*nomad (28)
Container missing !!!!!!!!!!!! scam ? !
31/08/2009 17:01
Has anybody had any dealings with a company who is offering shipping containers in a classified add on ebay for sale ?
We did pay for 2 of them and never did hear a word about any container delivery after. (that's from the 20/8/2009 ) contact was promised 24 hours after
As far as we know 4 other people had the same happening and are out of pocket a lot
Just want to know if there are more victims of recent container sales gone wrong on ebay
Does anybody have any suggestion or input? ?:|Like to hear from you ! Cheers

skipandco (270)
(1 of 2)
31/08/2009 17:50
It's a scam. Contact your local police. Victoria Police already have a file open.

phorum_junkie* (104)
(2 of 2)
31/08/2009 21:05
If you paid by credit card or Visa debit card contact your bank. You may get all or at least some of it back through a chargeback.

Hopefully the listing for item # 250588371343 and the threads will stay on eBay for a while to notify any other buyers who have been caught.

It is so important for all the buyers to lodge complaints with the Police, regardless of whether they have ever received a refund or not. The more details and complaints received the better chances of a Police conviction.

I have copied the listing details and threads here and on the Diner to increase the chances of them being found in google searches.

Thank you for posting this Wheelie.  Unbelievable.  These people who set these scams up must have a front bigger than Myers.  I don't know how they sleep at night.


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